Little Clay Cart


Writers: Shudraka


Show Information

Number of Acts
Drama, Romance
Period, Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Ujjayinī, Ancient India
Cast Size
Ideal for
College/University, Community Theatre, Diverse Cast, Large Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, Star Vehicle Female, Star Vehicle Male
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, young adult, child, mature adult, elderly, late teen characters


In Ancient Ujjayinī, the Brahmin Chārudatta has lived virtuously and honorably. However, because of his generosity, he now finds himself in poverty--rather than a gold toy cart, his son can only have a little clay cart to play with. But even though he is poor, Chārudatta is still of the highest caste and is treated with respect by almost everyone in their city. The one exception is the king’s brother-in-law, Sansthānaka--a villainous lecher in love with the lovely courtesan Vasantasenā, who will do anything to have her. Vasantasenā is in love with Chārudatta (as he is with her), creating a complicated love triangle of caste, honor, jealousy, and devotion.

Little Clay Cart, written in the fifth century, is one of the most popular Sanskrit dramas from the period. Unlike many Sanskrit dramas, Little Clay Cart is not pulled from mythology but presents everyday people making their way through life and love. It is often translated and regularly performed both in Indian theatre as well as Western theatre, cementing its universal appeal for audiences around the world.

Lead Characters

Little Clay Cart guide sections